Monday, June 18, 2012

A Rawed Awakening

Generally speaking, as soon as something is labeled as being "raw food" or "living food"' I automatically assume that it is a health (not healthY) food that doesn't taste good and is being marketed to White Weirdos With Money. And throughout the years, people have assumed that, since I am vegan, I am also one who embraces Raw Foods. Which I am NOT!

All of my experiences with Raw Foods had been negative ones. The first was about 13 years ago. For some reason, I acquired a copy of that Juliano's "Uncook Book." I made a total of 1 recipe from it, which was allegedly some kind of avocado soup. And in all of my years cooking, that was the ONLY meal I have ever made that I had to throw the whole thing away because it tasted so terrible! I don't know how Juliano managed to ruin something as perfect as an avocado (I seem to remember it had something to do with an abundance of lemon juice), but it was disgusting! I was outraged, not only by how bad it was, but by the fact I had wasted so many good (and rather expensive, I must add!) avocados on this drek, that for the next decade, I couldn't even drive past Juliano's stupid restaurant without thinking (or saying), "Fuck you, Juliano, you weirdo!"
Never gonna stop being mad at you, Juliano! You owe me $10 worth of avocados!!!

The next bad experience was 10 years ago. I thought I was going to a vegan restaurant in Chicago, but surprise, surprise, it was a RAW restaurant. :-( But I figured I would give it a chance. I ordered some kind of "burrito".... and what I received was a horrific sprouted mess of garbage, wrapped in a cabbage leaf. It was at this point I swore I would never again eat in a Raw restaurant.

Also, over the years, I tasted a small variety of Raw snacks, all given to me by my former roommate, who has both the most bizarre eating patterns AND the worst taste in food of anyone I have ever met (and if you are reading this, M.S., sorry, but you know it is true!!! ;-) ). Each one was more disgusting than the last.... dehydrated "crackers" that were like cardboard... and I'm still scarred from the chocolate pudding that was made by ruining more avocados by pureeing them with some cocoa powder.... *shudder* And I admit that it didn't make me think very highly of a Raw diet when my friend was eating Raw, and it made him get so pale and emaciated that he looked like an actual vampire. Clearly, this is a diet for neurotic people with some food issues! (Yes, I am aware that most people would say the exact same thing about vegans. :-p )

ANYWAY, I had my mind made up about Raw Foods, and was content to never eat them again. My husband kept insisting that he knew people, and not people who are even vegetarians or particularly healthy eaters, that ate at Raw places and insisted that they had a good meal. I was not convinced. But in the spirit of this project, I agree to give one a try.

I bought a Groupon to (get this) Euphoria Loves RAWvolution , and since there is nothing in a Raw Foods place that would be off limits to the little diet my husband and I are currently on, we went for dinner last night. So, first, I have to say that I am sure I am correct that only weirdos embrace Raw Foods, because literally everyone in that place was an Insane Lunatic! It was actually comical, like someone from central casting picked out a motley crew that one would except to find in a Raw restaurant in Santa Monica, CA! I'd like to imagine that my husband and I stuck out like a sore thumb amidst all of these weirdos!!! :-)

I ordered a Red Enchilada, which was romaine, cashew cheese and on my server's suggestion, some taco spiced "nut meat", which was wrapped in some kind of coconut thing. And you know what? It really wasn't bad! It was much better than the "burrito" I got in Chicago a decade ago... I can only assume there have been major advances in Raw Foods since then, just as there have been major advances in Vegan Food. The "nut meat" was very well seasoned. I managed to eat everything on my plate! Of course, this was also due to the fact I have been eating so light lately, that I was not only starving, but I was elated to eat ANYTHING that wasn't another plate of steamed veggies and a whole grain salad! :-)
And for once, the Raw Foodists didn't do anything to ruin an avocado! I enjoyed my gigantic pile of guacamole! But that strange, dehydrated "chip".... not so much.
Anyway, I am proud of myself that I was open minded about this, and gave it another try. I'm in no rush to ever eat at a Raw Restaurant again, but I suppose if I were stranded on a desert island and the only place to eat there was a Raw Restaurant, I guess I wouldn't turn up my nose at it, the way I would have before I started this project. ;-)

Epilogue: About an hour after eating my Raw dinner, I got sick. I felt very nauseated and had terrible stomach cramps. I felt better in about 2 hours. Now, I don't know for sure it was my dinner that disagreed with me... maybe the problem was just dumb old me... but all signs do point to the fact that my Raw Meal made me feel bad, which is the exact opposite of what a Raw Meal is supposed to do to you! So, I have yet another reason to avoid Raw places in the future.

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